United States - Imports of Goods





United States: Imports of Goods

Mnemonic TRIG.IUSA
Unit Mil. USD, SA
Adjustments Seasonally Adjusted ,
Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rate
Monthly 1.6 %
Data Sep 2018 219,084
Aug 2018 215,624

Series Information

Source U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Release International Trade (FT900)
Frequency Monthly
Start Date 1/31/1989
End Date 9/30/2018

United States: Trade

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Balance of Goods Sep 2018 -77,226 -76,634 Mil. USD, SA Monthly
Exports of Goods Sep 2018 141,858 138,990 Mil. USD, SA Monthly
Exports of Goods and Services 2018 Q3 2,546,189 2,568,714 Mil. USD, SAAR Quarterly
Imports of Goods Sep 2018 219,084 215,624 Mil. USD, SA Monthly
Imports of Goods and Services 2018 Q3 3,192,676 3,118,496 Mil. USD, SAAR Quarterly
Net Exports 2018 Q3 -646,487 -549,781 Mil. USD, SAAR Quarterly
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2018 Q3 2,551,208 2,574,245 Mil. Ch. 2012 USD, SAAR Quarterly
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2018 Q3 3,490,225 3,415,210 Mil. Ch. 2012 USD, SAAR Quarterly
Real Net Exports 2018 Q3 -939,017 -840,965 Mil. Ch. 2012 USD, SAAR Quarterly

Release Information
The balance of trade represents foreign trade in goods and services. The balance is the difference between exports and imports. Merchandise export and import data are provided for U.S total foreign trade with all nations, detail for trade with particular nations and regions of the world, as well as for individual commodities.

The export statistics are derived mainly from mandatory information supplied by commercial exporters to the Customs Bureau, which reports these figures to the Bureau of the Census. These figures are supplemented by data from some exporters who report their shipments directly to Census. The import statistics are derived from mandatory information supplied by importers to the Customs Bureau, which reviews the data for accuracy and provides the corrected data to Census.

For imports, the value reported is the U. S. Customs Service appraised value of merchandise; generally, the price paid for merchandise for export to the United States. Import duties, freight, insurance, and other charges incurred in bringing merchandise to the United States are excluded.

Exports are valued at the f.a.s.- free alongside ship value of merchandise at the U.S. port of export, based on the transaction price including inland freight, insurance and other charges incurred in placing the merchandise alongside the carrier at the U.S. port of exportation.

Monthly data include actual month's transactions as well as a small number of transactions for previous months. Each month the Census revises the aggregate seasonally adjusted (current and constant dollar) and unadjusted export, import and trade balance figures, as well as the end-use totals for the prior month. SITC and country detail data are not revised monthly. The timing adjustment shown in Exhibit 14 is the difference between monthly data as originally reported and as recompiled.

Each month a preliminary estimate is released for the current month and a revision is made to the preceding month. After a revised month is released, no further changes will be made until the quarterly international transactions estimates, based on more complete source data, are released. The first monthly release that follows the quarterly international transactions release will contain revised estimates for the previous six months, in order to align the monthly estimates with the quarterly estimates. Annual revisions for the months and quarters are made in June, which incorporate updated source data and changes in estimating methodologies.

The monthly trade statistics are notoriously volatile from month to month

An explanation of service imports & exports

The statistics are estimates of services transactions between foreign countries and the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories and possessions. Transactions with U.S. military, diplomatic, and consular installations abroad are excluded because they are considered to be part of the U.S. economy.

Services are shown in seven broad categories. Types of services for imports and exports are the same for six of the seven categories. For the seventh, exports is "Transfers Under U.S. Military Sales Contracts" while for imports the category is "Direct Defense Expenditures". The following is a brief description of the types of services included in each category:

  1. Travel - Purchases of services and goods by U.S. travelers abroad and by foreign visitors to the United States. A traveler is defined as a person who stays for a period of less than 1 year in a country of which the person is not a resident. Travel includes expenditures for food, lodging, recreation, gifts, and other items incidental to a foreign visit.
  2. Passenger Fares - Fares paid by residents of one country to residents in other countries. Receipts consist of fares received by U.S. carriers from foreign residents for travel between the United States and foreign countries and between two foreign points. Payments consist of fares paid by U.S. residents to foreign carriers for travel between the United States and foreign countries.
  3. Other Transportation - Charges for the transportation of goods by ocean, air, waterway, pipeline, and rail carriers to and from the United States. Includes freight charges, operating expenses that transportation companies incur in foreign ports, and payments for vessel charter and aircraft and freight car rentals.
  4. Royalties and License Fees - Transactions with foreign residents involving intangible assets and proprietary rights, such as the use of patents, techniques, processes, formulas, designs, know-how, trademarks, copyrights, franchises, and manufacturing rights. The term "royalties" generally refers to payments for the utilization of copyrights or trademarks, and the term "license fees" generally refers to payments for the use of patents or industrial processes.
  5. Other Private Services - Transactions with affiliated foreigners, for which no identification by type is available, and of transactions with unaffiliated foreigners. (The term "affiliated" refers to a direct investment relationship, which exists when a U.S. person has ownership or control, directly or indirectly, of 10 percent or more of a foreign business enterprise's voting securities or the equivalent, or when a foreign person has a similar interest in a U.S. enterprise.) Transactions with unaffiliated foreigners consist of education services; financial services (includes commissions and other transactions fees associated with the purchase and sale of securities and noninterest income of banks, and excludes investment income); insurance premiums and losses; telecommunications services (includes transmission services and value-added services); and business, professional, and technical services. Included in the last group are advertising services; computer and data processing services; database and other information services; research, development, and testing services; management, consulting, and public relations services; legal services; construction, engineering, architectural, and mining services; industrial engineering services; installation, maintenance, repair of equipment; and other services, including medical services and film and tape rental.
  6. Transfers Under U.S. Military Sales Contracts (Exports only) - Exports of goods and services in which U.S. Government military agencies participate. Includes both goods, such as equipment, and services, such as repair services and training, that cannot be separately identified.
  7. Direct Defense Expenditures (Imports only) - Expenditures incurred by U.S. military agencies abroad, including expenditures by U.S. personnel, payments of wages to foreign residents, construction expenditures, payments for foreign contractual services, and procurement of foreign goods. Includes both goods and services that cannot be separately identified.
  8. U.S. Government Miscellaneous Services - Transactions of U.S. Government nonmilitary agencies with foreign residents. Most of these transactions involve the provision of services to, or purchases of services from, foreigners; transfers of some goods are also included.

Services estimates are based on quarterly, annual, and benchmark surveys and partial information generated from monthly reports. Service transactions are estimated at market prices. Estimates are seasonally adjusted when statistically significant seasonal patterns are present. No country or area detail is available due to the lack of adequate source data upon which to base estimates.